Monday’s Den: Wrapping up a very warm weekend…….

13) In case you’re wondering, when the NBA has exhibition games this week, the games will be 40 minutes, not the usual 48:00, so if you’re betting games, the totals will be lower than usual. I wouldn’t advise wagering on preseason games, but just in case……..

12) Toronto Blue Jays weren’t allowed to travel in and out of Canada this summer, so for now, they’ll be stationed in Buffalo this summer, in their AAA team’s stadium. MLB Network was touting that ballpark as a hitter’s park; not lot of foul ground there at all.

This is Canada’s way of saying they don’t want anything to do with the way our country has handled this virus- can’t say that I blame them. The entire NHL will be in Toronto/Edmonton this summer, but they’ll be in a bubble; no traveling in and out of the country.

11) Last time a major league game was played in Buffalo? 1915, not counting the baseball scenes in The Natural, which were filmed at old War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo.

There were reports Sunday night that the Blue Jays were still looking for a major league park to call home this summer; they open the season at Tampa Bay Friday.

10) Extra innings in major leagues this season will all start with a runner on 2nd, no one out; major league average is teams score a little more than 60% of the time in that situation.

If the visiting team scores one run in the top of an extra inning, will be interesting to see how the home teams treats their half-inning; bunt for a tie, or play for the bigger inning?

9) Big shoes to fill: Houston Astros went 50-15 in Gerrit Cole’s last 65 starts, but he works in the Bronx now, so how do they replace him? Ain’t going to be easy.

8) They were talking during the Mets’ game Saturday how the masks that look like scarves are actually cooler than the medical masks that most of us wear. Cooler in terms of temperature, not in terms of being cool/uncool.

7) A Korean pitcher named HH Han wears uniform number 1; don’t think I’ve ever seen an American pitcher wear number 1. Only a few wear any single digit number.

6) 10 or so major league umpires opted out of participating this season; unfortunately, Angel Hernandez will be working this season. He isn’t good at his job.

5) Baseball’s TV blackout policy is weird; they black out replays all winter, and during this whole pandemic, when maybe they would’ve gained new fans by showing a ton of games when we were starved for entertainment, but they don’t black out replays of old All-Star Games.

Baseball needs new fans; it is a great game, but younger people need more exposure to it. Let people see your product; maybe they’ll buy in.

4) Cleveland Browns have had 12 first round drafts picks from 2011-17; Myles Garrett is the first of those 12 draft picks to sign a second contract with the Browns.

3) Western Kentucky landed transfer Luke Frampton from Davidson; he made 14-29 3’s last year, playing in only five games for the Wildcats- he shot 38.1% on the arc as a freshman, making 93 shots behind the arc.

2) White Sox gave C Yasmani Grandal a ton of money last winter, hoping he can help stabilize their pitching; Grandal has played in the playoffs the last five years, but four of those were with the Dodgers, who seemingly win their division every year.

One word of caution; Grandal’s career batting average in the postseason? .115 (9 for 78)

1) One quirky change in baseball this year; teams aren’t throwing the ball around the infield after an out is made with the bases empty. If they did throw the ball around the infield, the ball would have to come out of the game, and pitchers prefer baseballs that have been used some, especially if they’re getting hitters out with it. 

TV highlights of the day: Three baseball games on TV; real games start Thursday. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.